The need and necessity of an EU wide renewable energy target for 2030

Published: 17/04/2013

In 2020, some leading EU energy and climate policies will expire. At present, the EU and its Member States are discussing the design of a post-2020 policy portfolio. In a discussion paper commissioned by the European Copper Institute, Ecofys shows that an EU-wide renewable energy target is a necessary part of a 2030 portfolio.

The paper analyses, in detail, two realistic policy portfolio options for renewable energy, target-setting in particular: one ‘decarbonisation-only’ EU target with voluntary national targets for renewable energy, and one that includes an EU-wide renewable energy target, broken down into binding national targets. The analysis shows that the latter option, when supported by appropriate and improved EU and Member States’ policies and measures, is most suitable in facilitating a European low-carbon economy.

In combination with consistent carbon and energy efficiency targets, a renewable energy target is the best way to keep costs of a low-carbon pathway towards 2050 low. However, the alignment of these targets will be key for their success. Mandatory renewable energy targets will also create many more (co-) benefits for the environment and the economy, both for individual Member States and for the EU as a whole.